The far Right, conflict narratives and race war

The far Right, conflict narratives and race war

Fortnightly Bulletin

Written by: IRR News Team

IRR News 19 January – 2 February 2022

Getting the facts out quickly about far-right violence is one of the things that motivates us to bring out IRR News, with our fortnightly calendar of racism and resistance a continuation of IRR’s role as a place of record documenting Europe’s white supremacist movements. This long monitoring experience has taught us that wars abroad provide opportunities for neo-Nazis to join up as ‘foreign fighters’ with battlefield experience subsequently brought back home and channelled into ‘race war’. This was true after the war in Vietnam (where some Vietnam veterans invigorated white power movements in the 1980s); true during the Balkans wars of the 1990s (European fascists provided material support for Serbian terror in Bosnia and glorified the ethnic cleansing of Muslims at Srebrenica) and it is true today, with neo-Nazis from Europe and the US joining ultra-nationalist and neo-Nazi Ukrainian militia, such as the Azov Battalion.

The subject of war, in physical, linguistic and ideological form, features prominently in this week’s calendar, where we draw attention to warlike acts closer to home, directed against LGBTQ+ and Muslim communities. In Spain seven members of an ultra-right movement, one of whom is suspected of involvement in an attack on a LGBTQ association building, were arrested; in the UK the trial of four alleged fascists from Keighley and from Anglesey accused of having carried out offences under the Terrorism Act opened at Sheffield Crown Court; in Poland a far-right activist, found in possession of weapons, explosives and toxic substances received a five-year prison term for plotting a bomb attack on a mosque.

Extreme-right party politicians as well as the New Right contribute to the creation of conflict narratives, through a very specific vocabulary (think of ‘war on woke’ and ‘culture wars’). In the run-up to last Sunday’s general election in Portugal, the far-right Chega party, which now has 12 seats in parliament, launched a war of words against the Roma and those in receipt of welfare benefits. Meanwhile, US libertarian donor networks promoting culture wars and the war on woke, are coming to the UK – our monitoring has been extended to reflect such developments.

IRR News Team

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The Institute of Race Relations is precluded from expressing a corporate view: any opinions expressed are therefore those of the authors.

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